Inaugural Chess Tournament Awards Top 3

Apr 20, 2024 at 09:23 pm by WGNS


Murfreesboro, TN - The First Annual Rutherford County Tournament of High School Chess Champions took place Saturday (4/20/2024) at the Patterson Community Center. 

When the tournament ended, each contestant was presented a holographic trophy. The grand champion was awarded the GOLDEN CHESS TIE. In golf, the Masters Tournament gives a green blazer, and the GOLD TIE is the local counterpart. 







Congratulations to the winners: 

  • First place: Ethan Harrelson (Riverdale High School)
  • Second place: Xavier Sztapka (Rutherford County Virtual School)
  • Third place: Ben Chen (Central Magnet School)

How Did This Chess Program Begin?

The Rutherford County Property Assessor and his wife Kim had just finished watching the movie "Critical Thinking". It talked about a school program that is especially good for ESL students, but, in reality, all students benefit. It uses the game of chess to teach life skills

At that point, Rob remembers looking at his wife and both knew that such a program would benefit local students. 

Mitchell explained . . .

He met with several persons, one of them being Rutherford County School's Director Dr. Jimmy Sullivan, and received a "thumbs UP". 

Saturday's competition for the first tournament included eight local schools: Riverdale, Smyrna, Blackman, Central Magnet, La Vergne, Oakland, Stewarts Creek, and Middle Tennessee Christian School. 

In addition, WGNS' Bart Walker spoke with Rutherford County Assessor of Property Rob Mitchell during the chess tournament. He was asked how the idea for the chess tournament came about . . .








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